Notre centre d'accueil ouvrira dès le mardi 9 juillet jusqu'au 23 août inclus.

Vous pourrez venir tous les jours sauf le samedi, de 10h à 12h et de 16h à 19h.

Flyer TAKH

L'association recherche dans le cadre du développement de nouvelles activités au Villaret un/une chargé-e de développement.


L'association recherche son nouveau directeur ou nouvelle directrice.

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Today, Thursday, October 11, comes out the book "Le Cheval de Przewalski" written by Sally Zalewski published by Buchet Chastel.

Sally Zalewski, member of the Association's board since its creation, supported by Claudia Feh, founder of the association, and Frédéric Joly, employee for many years, retraces the great adventure of TAKH and more generally of Przewalski horses.

Soon, it will be available on our online boutique.

We submitted a reply to the article of Gaunitz et al. 2018 that had concluded, based on ancient DNA analysis, that the Przewalski’s horse originates from feral domestic ancestors. Our reply is now online in the form of eLetter on the website of the journal Science.

We recruit a new volunteer in Mongolia for one year.

Volunteer job offer

TAKH cherche un consultant en écotourisme pour le développement de son site d’élevage du Villaret.

Offre consultant

Gaunitz et al. (1) recently affirmed in the journal Science that the Przewalski’s horse is a feral horse descending from the ancient population of domestic horses of Botai (5,500 BP – North Kazakhstan), and not a truly wild horse. The degree of domesticity of the Botai horses established from archeological artefacts is however questioned (2, 3):
-          The high density of bones supposed to prove husbandry can be explained by an important hunting pressure along a migratory road
-          The diameter of forelegs bones supposed to demonstrate a mount adaptation can be due to environmental variations
-         The handful of observations of tooth wear suggesting harnessing can be due to jewellery craftship (tooth wear is in addition absent from artefacts left by subsequent ancient peoples that were undoubtedly horsemen)
-          The isotope pattern in potsherds supposed to demonstrate milking received methodological criticisms.
In addition the article does not demonstrate that the Przewalski’s horse went through the selective breeding process inherent to domestication (4, 5), and the set of domestic genes typical of domestication not been found so far in the Przewalski’s horse (6). Moreover the Przewalski’s horse has an erected mane which distinguishes it from its domestic counterpart (7).
We therefore contend that the current state knowledge does not justify reclassifying the Przewalski’s horse as a domestic horse.

1.            C. Gaunitz et al., Ancient genomes revisit the ancestry of domestic and Przewalski’s horses. Science, eaao3297 (2018).
2.            P. Kosintsev, P. Kuznetsov, COMMENT ON “THE EARLIEST HORSE HARNESSING AND MILKING.” Tyragetia. 7 (2013).
3.            M. A. Levine, Domestication and early history of the horse. The domestic horse: the origins, development and management of its behaviour, 5–22 (2005).
4.            J. Diamond, Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication. Nature. 418, 700–707 (2002).
5.            G. Larson et al., Current perspectives and the future of domestication studies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111, 6139–6146 (2014).
6.            M. Schubert et al., Prehistoric genomes reveal the genetic foundation and cost of horse domestication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111, E5661–E5669 (2014).
7.            L. Boyd, K. Houpt, in Przewalski’s horse: the history and biology of an endangered species (Lee Boyd and Katherine A. Houpt, Albany, State University of New York Press., 1994).

We recruit a new volunteer in Mongolia for one year.

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Nous recherchons un(e) bénévole pour juillet et août au Villaret pour l'accueil du public.

 bénévole juillet août 2017


We recruit a new volunteer in Mongolia for one year, from 15 July 2017.

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offre de stage 6 mois

We recruit a new volunteer in Mongolia for one year, from 1st February 2017.

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Our information center is open for the summer, from 8th July to 25th August 2016. Located in the Cevennes National Park, our information center describes our work and offers visitors a chance to buy Association Takh merchandise and felt products from Mongolia. Visitors can also view the horses, including this year's newly born foals!

Hélène Roche offers two scientific courses in equine ethology in Le Villaret : 1 to 5 August ans 8 to 12 August.

Descriptif stage

Bulletin d'inscription

We recruit a new volunteer in Mongolia for one year, from 1st August 2016.

 Offre volontaire 2016-2017

We recruit a programme director in Mongolia for five years in early 2016.

Job offer TAKH KTT programme director 

Association Takh's Director and Co-founder Claudia Feh recently co-authored an article in Current Biology which further unravels the genetic history of the Przewalski's horse. The researchers sequenced the complete genomes of 21 domestic horses and 17 Przewalski's horses, including historical specimens from 1878–1929. The results confirm that domestic horses and Przewalski's horses split approximately 45,000 years ago and, while there was a certain amount of gene flow between the two species since their split, the exchange was less than previously thought. This research also identified genes unique to Przewalski's horses and unraveled the genetic implications of over a 100 years of captivity. One of the lead scientists of this research, Dr Ludovic Orlando, concluded that “Eventhough Przewalski’s horses went through an extreme demographic collapse, the population seems to recover, and is still genetically diverse.” (

In 1993, our Director and her collaborators brought 11 Przewalski’s horses from various European zoos to Villaret. Living on the Cevennes steppe allowed these horses to discover their wild nature: they learned to share the pasture and form a herd made up of several family groups. In 2004 and 2005, 22 of their offspring were reintroduced to the buffer zone of the Khar Us Nuur National Park in western Mongolia, where today they have grown to a population of 53.

In July, Sabrina, the eldest of our Villaret herd and last zoo-born horse died at 27 years old. But her legacy lives on: her 7 foals have collectively produced more than 20 foals themselves, a few of whom roam the Mongolian steppe today...

Our information is open for the summer. Located in the Cevennes National Park, our information center describes our work and offers visitors a chance to buy Association Takh merchandise and felt products from Mongolia. Visitors can also stroll a hiking trail to view the horses, including this year's newly born foals! On the right is Stipa's foal born on June 27.

2014 was a record breaking year for foals; there were 19 in total (10 at Seer and 9 in Villaret). Unfortunately, the Mongolian herd was hit by an exceptionally high mortality due, in large part, to an anthrax epidemic. This bacteria occurs naturally and outbreaks from time to time in Mongolia and elsewhere.

In Le Villaret, we hit and even surpassed our pasture's carrying capacity of 40 horses. As we do not feed the horses, we need quite a bit of space for relatively few individuals. So, our solution was to send the horses to a suitable site in northeast Spain where the horses will continue to live in semi-free conditions.

We still have some hand-spun balls of baby camel wool. Women of the khomyntaal’s community offer you an exceptionally fine down, 100% natural, hand spun with a wheel. Supportthisinitiativeby providing you an originalwoolfor your creations! Visit our online store

The Villaret welcome center will be open from Sunday July 9th to Friday August 29th.

We are open everyday, except Saturday, from 10am - 1pm and from 4pm to 7pm. Come visit us to choose which horse will you adopt next year, discover our exhibits on our work and the horse, our store with Takh merchandise and Mongolian felt products, meet our team and, of course, catch a glimpse of the horses!

If you wish to learn more about horses and their unique behavior in semi-free conditions, sign up for a 4 day training led by an expert ethologist.

No, Paleomix doesn't come out of the Asterix and Obelix comic books! Paleomix is the name of a research group at the Centre of GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. In 2013, these researchers published an article that was very important for the scientific understanding of the biology of the Przewalski horse.

The article, published in the prestigious journal Nature, found that, from an evolutionary point of view, the Przewalski's horse and domestic horse diverged genetically 38,000 to 72,000 years ago. This means that the Przewalski's horse and the domestic horse are truly different species, and that the Przewalski's horse is indeed the last wild horse.

In tribute to this group of researchers, we named one of the 2013 foals, born in Mongolia, Paleomix (pictured here). According to our ranger, Paleomix is the most beautiful, largest and strongest foals of 2013. He benefits from his size to go after older foals in the other groups, because, in his family, there is only one foal from 2013: Nine, a young, slender filly. So, Paleomix prefers to plays with Higgs and Urgamal, and together they form a the " terrible trio" who are run amok. The future stallions of Mongolia will be something!

Click here to adopt Paleomix !